Postcards from the Road: Tote Bag Edition Series 002

Ever since I expanded the product line to include tumblers, notebooks and tote bags on top of the postcards, it's been so surreal to know that my work is being used everywhere, including a couple orders I shipped overseas. 

With the incredibly humbling response to the work, I've decided to start designing Series 002 of the tote bags, largely inspired by my travels over the summer, and another of Valentine's Day in Milan. 

As always, since this website was set up to contextualise my travel experiences and photography, I'll be sharing the locations of the photographs on the totes here, and where I was physically and emotionally when I took the photographs.

Edit: Ever since the launch of the postcards, the brand has grown into several more lines of postcards, tote bags, notebooks and tumblers.

Postcards Series 001 | Postcards Series 002 | Postcards Series 003 | Postcards Series 004 Singapore

Tote Bags Series 001

Notebooks Series 001 | Tumblers Series 001

1. Afternoons in Seville (Seville, Spain)

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When in Seville, we went on a walking tour to get ourselves familiarised with the city.

Read: The Ultimate Guide to Seville— What to Do & See in the Andalusian Capital

I've fallen hard for walking tours after this summer, and I'm so glad I went on 2 in Spain alone.

Across the Guadalquivir River lies the neighbourhood of Triana, so called the neighbourhood of gypsies and outcasts, where inhabitants used to identify as being from Triana before Seville. 

The draw of Triana though, apart from the flamenco flair, is Calle Betis, the riverfront promenade lined with restaurants and bars which turns into a hotspot in the evenings. 

Read: What to Eat in Seville— From Creative Tapas Restaurants to Traditional Spanish Taverns to Churros Bars

In the sleepy late afternoon though, the buildings shine in the sun as workers of each restaurant start slowly setting up for a busy evening ahead.

2. Sailing in Indonesia (Pulau Kelor, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia)

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In the island chain of East Nusa Tenggara, east of Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands, we went sailing around the Komodo Islands with stunning hilly landscapes, powdery fine sandy bays with turquoise-blue waters that look more like a swimming pool than the sea. 

Read: Essential Information About the Komodo Islands  and Labuan Bajo, Flores Indonesia

We headed to Kelor Island (Pulau Kelor) on a boat with a German family with a young 9 year old daughter in tow, where I was planning to just enjoy the beaches, before they asked if we wanted to scale this hill on the island. 

It was supposedly here where one of the Instagram-worthy spots could be found, at the edge of the cliff with the dramatic seascape behind us, but before we could get there, we had to scale this almost vertical ascent up this hill barefoot on a dirt trail. 

It was stunning once we made it up, but the hike to get up and down was quite the journey (if we slipped, we would have fallen off this hill into the sea), and when I finally got down again I'd never felt so safe to be on flat land before, and I saw the boats that we took out here lined up with other boats the other travellers took to the island. 

Read: A Definitive List of What to See & Do in the Islands of the Komodo Island Chain

With the backdrop framing the boats in the background and the clear seas in the foreground, I thought about how idyllic this looked, and snapped this photograph.

Sailing in Indonesia Tote Bag
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3. Flowers of Andalusia (Frigiliana, Spain)

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The stereotypical view of the white villages of southern Spain (los pueblos blancos) includes white houses, narrow pebbled streets barely wide enough for vehicles to pass through, and the flowering bougainvillaea poking through the houses.

Frigiliana made all the pueblos blancos views I had in my mind manifest in real life.

It was stunning on every corner, but from where we parked at the foot of downtown, we had to scale a number of steps to get up to the town centre, and halfway up we saw these bougainvillaea growing out of the walls with the beautiful town in the background which was absolutely stunning and this is where I took this photograph.

Flowers of Andalusia Tote Bag
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4. The Barcelona Coffeehouse (Barcelona, Spain)

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Barcelona wasn't on the itinerary this summer, but as you can imagine I have plenty photos from my stint 2 years ago. 

Read: What it Was Really Like Moving to Spain On My Own at 19

Read: What Moving Away From and Returning to Spain After 2 Years Felt Like

One of my favourite neighbourhoods in Barcelona is El Born, which is basically the Gothic Quarter except lined with local boutiques instead of kitsch tourist souvenir shops, which lends itself to a really nice bohemian atmosphere.

Read: Breaking Barcelona Down by Neighbourhood— The Best One For Your Needs

Not to mention some of the best tapas bars in the city can be found here, which is a major plus.

El Born's also where you get all the beauty of the Gothic Quarter, and I particularly like the doors and façade of shops and houses here. 

So here's a photograph of a coffeehouse in El Born, and I think this is quintessential Barcelona in a photograph.

The Barcelona Coffeehouse Tote Bag
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5. Valentine's Day in Milan (Milan, Italy)

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After I left Barcelona, I undertook a massive month long trip starting in Paris and ending in Frankfurt where I was bound for a flight back to Singapore. 

Milan was one of the first stops, and it was going to be my first taste of Italy. 

If I'm being completely honest though, even though I didn't quite fall for Milan the way I thought I might've or was going to, one thing that I'll always remember is this street photographed here. 

It was Valentine's Day, not that I planned my itinerary with this in consideration, but walking around the city, we stumbled on this street that had hearts lined and hanging over it which I thought was possibly the most romantic thing I'd seen a city do for this occasion, and this was before I even made the connection that it was Valentine's Day.

When I did though, it all made sense, and made this one scene in Milan stay with me forever.